The Little Things Matter Now More Than Ever
The best businesses always focus on the small details: the chocolate on your hotel pillow; the free, last minute delivery to a valued customer; the smile, warm welcome and "Thank you for your business" from attentive sales associates.
Those small but meaningful gestures will mean even more to independent retailers as they embark upon a New Year. It's true for all of the obvious reasons, but more so as big-box retailers continue to improve their social networking campaigns, leverage new communications platforms such as Twitter and add service strategies that bring them closer to the customer.
Case in point. I was on the train the other day when I ran into a former colleague who now works for one of the largest financial service firms in the country. As we talked about new communications and marketing strategies, she gushed how the company set up a division where employees scan emails and Web sites for customer complaints and immediately respond via Twitter or email asking what they can do to help. "The customers are blown away," she said. Best Buy's Twelpforce, staffed by Blue Shirts and the Geek Squad, does the same through Twitter. Even Walmart is in on the game.